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Lagos lawmakers impeach Pedro

Posted by By MUYIWA OYINLOLA and NANA AHMADU on 2007/05/11 | Views: 630 |

Lagos lawmakers impeach Pedro


Lagos House of Assembly Thursday ignored the resignation of the embattled Deputy Governor, Otunba Femi Pedro and impeached him with a unanimous vote of 32 members at exactly 1.05pm. Eight of the 40 Assembly members were, however, absent at the sitting .

* Itís a futile act - Pedro

Lagos House of Assembly Thursday ignored the resignation of the embattled Deputy Governor, Otunba Femi Pedro and impeached him with a unanimous vote of 32 members at exactly 1.05pm. Eight of the 40 Assembly members were, however, absent at the sitting .

The impeachment followed the adoption of the recommendations of the seven-man investigative panel that looked into the alleged misconduct of the deputy governor.
In a prompt reaction, Pedro who is on vacation abroad issued a press statement through his Director of Communications, Abayomi Ogundeji, describing the impeachment as a futile act. Pedro, the statement contended, had resigned his position before the purported removal.

The seven- man probe panel on which recommendations the impeachment was premised had submitted that it was convinced that the former deputy governor was guilty of the allegations brought against him by the House.

"Upon the careful perusal and analysis of the submissions before the panel with respect to the notice of allegations of gross misconduct against Mr. Femi Pedro, the deputy governor, this panel is fully convinced that Mr. Femi Pedro is fully aware of the allegations against him and has elected not to refute or lead evidence to refute the allegations.

"In view of the deputy governorís refusal to deny any of the aforementioned allegations either in writing or by any means whatsoever despite adequate and reasonable opportunity afforded him by the panel, the panel cannot but agree with the submission of the House of Assembly that the deputy governor has no defence to these allegations."

After the committee laid the report, the House went into the Committee of the Whole to consider the report.

As soon as it returned to the plenary session, Hon Babatunde Adejare (Agege II) moved a motion for the adoption of the report while Hon Aro Saheed (Apapa I) seconded the motion. There was no counter-motion.

On the purported resignation of the deputy governor, the Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary, Hon AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef said the resignation of the deputy governor on Tuesday had nothing to do with the impeachment process of the House, as it is only the court that can set aside the process of impeachment.

He added that the deputy governor only resigned in the media while he refused to resolve all pending issues on the allegations.

Ruling on the motion, the Speaker, Hon Adeyemi Ikuforiji said the adoption of the report of the investigative panel as a resolution of the House meant that the deputy governor stood impeached.
Kuforiji thereafter urged the lawmakers to be conscious of what posterity would say of them.
According to him, Nigeria had witnessed impeachment of governors conducted outside their states, but the Lagos State House of Assembly had always believed in the rule of law, due process and had always toed the path of honour.

The Chief Judge of the State, Justice Ade Alabi had in compliance with Section 188 (5), last Monday set up a seven man investigative panel on the allegations of gross misconduct against the deputy governor.

The panel, which was headed by Chief Mohammed Adebola Badmus comprised Mr. Adisa Dairo, Pastor Alfred Ajifowowe, Evangelist Grace Aro, Alfa Mutiu Bankole, Alhaji Musiliu Braimoh and Barrister Amoo Kayode as secretary.

Reacting to the impeachment on behalf of the former deputy governor, Ogundeji explained that Pedro had resigned his appointment on May 9 through a letter dated May 8.

"That Chief Femi Pedro no longer holds that position is a notorious fact known to all persons, save those that willfully close their eyes to information that does not accord with intentions layered with malice aforethought. The unedifying scenes that played out for the whole world to see at the Roundhouse (the seat of government in Lagos) yesterday, with the Office of the Governor refusing to accept a legitimate correspondence, were ineloquent testimony to the hand of the executive in a process that was prima facie driven by the legislature.

"The mala fides of the members of the state legislature is clear to see from their decision to gather in vain. Todayís proceedings represent a nadir in the annals of the legislature in Lagos State and an affirmation of the widely held view that the legislature in Lagos State under Governor Bola Tinubu has not only been suborned and emasculated but has in effect become an appendage of the executive arm of government.
"The Office of the Governor of Lagos State refused to accept Chief Femi Pedroís letter of resignation.

The Office of the Speaker of the House refused to accept a copy of that same letter. The office of the Chief Judge of Lagos State was served and accepted a copy of the said letter yesterday. The office of the chief law officer of the state, the Attorney-General of Lagos State, was served and accepted a copy of the said letter. Yesterday and today, the newspapers and the electronic media widely reported the said resignation. And yet, in the face of this information and knowledge, the House of Assembly chose to gather to do its masterís bidding," Ogundeji stated.

According to him, the House misdirected itself in allegedly regarding the governor rather than the people its master just as purporting to have impeached the deputy governor after he had resigned from office.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.